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How much would you spend to not win the presidency? Our starting bid is "zero dollars and no cents," but billionaire Tom Steyer enjoys setting his money on fire. It's so pretty! He's dropped $2.9 million in Facebook ads in the month since he launched his vanity campaign. That's three times as much as Kirsten Gillibrand spent reminding Facebook users she exists. While Steyer had his checkbook out anyway, he spent another $7 million on TV commercials over the past month. That's the best grassroots campaign money can buy.

He's targeting the early primary states of Iowa, Nevada, and South Carolina, and his "Charlotte's Web"-style ad blitz has voters going SOME BILLIONAIRE! He's reached the required two percent minimum in three DNC-approved polls. He needs to hit that mark in one more and he'll have scored his golden ticket to the next Democratic debate. With cash, anything is possible. That heart-warming reality is what inspires us to participate in the democratic process!

We now find ourselves in the uncomfortable position of agreeing with a Daily Caller headline.

The Daily Caller

This makes us very angry. (We guess it's only fair because we forced Yr. Editrix to agree with Katrina Pierson today.)


Steyer boasted this morning on "Morning Joe" that he'd also met the other arbitrary DNC requirement of 130,000 individual donors. The DNC's weed-out process wasn't totally useless. It should keep Marianne Williamson off the debate stage in September. She was just using the platform to communicate with the gaseous beings from her home planet through coded messages disguised as crack-scented self-help jargon. As soon as they come pick her up, she'll suspend her campaign.

As of today, only nine of the two dozen Democrats running are set for the next debates. Four of them are already white guys. But there are no billionaires. We guess Steyer will bring a new perspective. He could make the debates more engaging by offering candidates the indecent proposal of $1 million in cash to immediately drop out of the race.

Look at all the Tim Ryans bringing up the rear!FiveThirtyEight

Andrew Yang has also met the donor and polling requirements. He's a tech entrepreneur with the equivalent political experience of someone who just watched half a season of "West Wing" on Netflix. He even brags that he's not a "career politician." We're not Tulsi Gabbard fans but she's at least a sitting congresswoman. If Steyer meets the polling threshold, which is likely, that still won't mean he's more qualified to serve as president than the other non-Marianne Williamsons. He's a billionaire who thinks he knows better than people who've done this for a while. After Donald Trump, you'd think we'd understand how much of a disaster that kind of candidate is when elected.

Confronting climate change is a supposed "priority" for Steyer. He could've supported Jay Inslee, who made the climate crisis a signature issue as governor of Washington. Steyer also wants to overturn Citizens United because he doesn't think corporations should control our politics -- just individuals with the economic might of a corporation. He believes so strongly in public financing of campaigns he's vowed to spend $100 million of his personal funds to run for president. We're not even sure what his point is. It's like when Donald Duck tried to convince his nephews not to smoke by making them smoke a pack of cigars all at once.

On "Morning Joe," Steyer treated us to an extended boredom remix of his non-hit single, "I'm An Outsider, So I Can Fix Everything." It's not even an original track. It's a cover of Trump's 2016 campaign. Besides, when you're a billionaire, you're never "outside." You're the "inside" whose sphere of influence everyone's desperate to enter. People stopped saying "no" to you half a billion ago. You're not ready for Mitch McConnell or even Nancy Pelosi.

Instead of polls and gullible donors, we should make previous political experience a non-negotiable requirement for serious consideration in a presidential race. We're talking about the next leader of the free world. Give us someone who's served in Congress or the state legislature or even a small-town mayor. We'd take a jury foreman at this point. But please, we don't need any more "know nothings." We already elected their king.

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Stephen Robinson

Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He's on the board of the Portland Playhouse theater and writes for the immersive theater Cafe Nordo in Seattle.

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